Tribal girl student to perform Saraswati Puja as priest in WB school


GUWAHATI: Deviating from the prevailing practice, a school in a remote village at Malda, West Bengal has chosen a tribal girl student to perform Saraswati Puja as a priest.

The step was taken by the headmaster of the school (Dalla Chandramohan High School) Joydeb Lahiri to eradicate discrimination on the grounds of caste, religion and gender.

Rohila Hembram an 11 STD student has been entrusted with the responsibility of conducting the rituals of worshipping Goddess Saraswati (The goddess of knowledge, music, art, wisdom, and learning) on the occasion of Basant Panchami at her school.

In the present-day Hindu culture, the profession of the priesthood is completely dominated by males, especially by the Brahmins based on birth.

But breaking all the patriarchy and stereotypes this school has a past record of allowing non-brahmin teachers irrespective of their gender, religion and caste to conduct the puja.

During the puja ceremony Rohila will be assisted by another non-brahmin Teacher Binay Biswas as instructed by the headmaster of the school Joydeb Lahiri.

Rohila is very elated and excited to have been chosen for performing the puja this year. She is thankful to her headmaster Joydeb Lahiri.

Joydeb Lahiri, spoke about how the school had been fighting to ward off social evils for a long time. He said, apart from battling discrimination, the students and teachers of the school have struggled hard to root out child marriages in the village, too.

Interestingly, this is not the first incident in Malda where a non-brahmin is set to perform Saraswati Puja. Last year, 24-year-old Sulata Mandal was chosen by the Malda College as the priest who led hundreds of devotees while performing the Pushpanjali ritual during the Saraswati Puja.